One Client’s Experience with Phone Sessions

 I met Stuart Bernstein over 30 years ago when he was practicing as an acupuncturist in Santa Fe. Even then, he had a reputation as an astonishing healer. I saw him for a developing hernia. My wife saw him for her migraines, and he treated my mother when she had pancreatic cancer, greatly enhancing her quality of life and reducing her pain at the end.

Stuart also treated an old friend of mine for Hodgkin’s Disease. In her early 20s at the time, my friend had given up on chemotherapy after only one round. The treatment was too caustic for her. I suggested that perhaps she should come to Santa Fe and work with Stuart, and she did, uprooting her life and moving to Santa Fe from Texas. She worked only with Stuart after that, I believe, seeking no other medical treatment. She went on to marry and have two children, and she lived for another 25 years. 

Eventually Stuart left Santa Fe, I left New Mexico, and I lost track of him. I tried to look him up once during the intervening years – perhaps this was before the Internet – but for whatever reason I couldn’t find him. A couple of years ago, however, I tried again – successfully this time. I found Stuart’s website, and I saw from it that somehow, in addition to treating his patients with acupuncture, he now worked with them over the telephone.  

I was intrigued, and I called him, thinking it would be interesting to reconnect and maybe have a session or two with him, and to see what this phone work was all about.  

Also I enjoyed telling friends that I was working with an acupuncturist over the phone

In any case, that initial phone call turned into something like two years of intensive work, sometimes once a week, sometimes every other week, sometimes every third week. 

Describing this work is not an easy thing to do. On the one hand, for an intense type-A, hyper-focused, purpose-driven healer committed to the excellence of his art, Stuart is one of the most affable and laid-back people I’ve ever met. These hour-long phone calls sometimes seemed – deceptively – to be little more than a warm, mutually connecting conversation with a highly attentive and concerned friend who would meet me wherever I showed up. Still, on that level alone, our talks were revivifying for me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found it harder and harder to connect to people in a deep and essential way, and my regular phone conversations with Stuart reawakened the part of me that cherishes and relies upon that kind of deeper connection. Stuart once told me that his teacher’s definition of love was a relationship through which God becomes manifest, and this is the sort of connection I’m talking about. 

On an even more profound level, however – and I have no idea how Stuart does this – I sometimes entered, through our conversations, into a deeply altered state in which, on very rare occasions, I had visions or apprehended images that spoke to me in the same way a dream might. 

Again, I have no idea how this happened exactly and it happened only twice.  

As Stuart explains it to me, his working theory suggests that, over time, we develop a “disposition,” we assume a position away (dis-, as a suffix meaning away or the opposite of) from our authentic, centered selves. In the work Stuart does, listening carefully, reflecting back what he hears, walking the path of healing in step with his client, the client eventually loses his or her disposition, it seems, and begins to feel the renewing energy that comes from standing in a more authentic place. 

This, at least, has been my experience. 

After two years of working with Stuart, I feel more connected to my authentic self and certainly  more connected to the wells of intuition and inspiration that I had always relied on, but which had dried up of late, and the same seems true of various friends and relatives of mine who began working with Stuart on my recommendation.

Again, I don’t really understand how, as a practitioner, Stuart effects the seemingly alchemical transformations he does – it has something to do with his deep understanding of the Kototama Principles underlying his work as an acupuncturist – but I’m more than grateful for the work I’ve done with him and its effect on my life. 

— JS

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